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Obert Gutu: We are going to take up the NSSA Corruption issue as POLAD

Obert Gutu

Obert Gutu: We are going to take up the NSSA Corruption issue as POLAD. NSSA’s forensic audit report, which was tabled in Parliament in August, exposed shocking corruption, fraud, criminal abuse of office and theft that resulted in the authority being prejudiced of over US$175 million.

Participants in the Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) will discuss corruption affecting the National Social Security Authority (NSSA), MDC-T vice president Obert Gutu has said. Off-take housing contracts awarded to undeserving companies through corruption have potentially prejudiced NSSA of US$104 million.

In an interview with The Herald on Monday, Mr Gutu said pensioners were struggling to get a decent pension while “it is beyond debate that NSSA is deeply embedded in corruption. “It is actually a national shame and embarrassment that pensioners are struggling to get paid a decent and living pension, while millions of their hard-earned funds are literally being abused and allowed to lose value.

“You can be assured that we are going to take up the issue of NSSA corruption as POLAD. ‘‘Some misinformed people out there think that POLAD is just a toothless feeding trough, but they are completely wrong.”

Mr Gutu said it was worrisome that the relevant authorities were taking a slow approach in dealing with the corruption at NSSA. “Surely, something has got to give because this is utterly and totally unacceptable,” he said.

“What has happened to the NSSA forensic audit? Why is it taking forever to arrest and prosecute the culprits who looted the NSSA fund? For as long as people implicated in looting NSSA funds remain unpunished, we have not even started fighting corruption in Zimbabwe.”

Executives at the authority are alleged to have awarded themselves unapproved loans and benefits to the tune of US$306 195, while non-executive directors got US$86 322. The forensic audit report also exposed unfair labour practices, including cases where those that performed badly during interviews got jobs at the expense of those who excelled.

Former Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Prisca Mupfumira is facing seven counts of criminal abuse of office after allegedly forcing NSSA into dodgy investment deals, leading to a prejudice of over US$95 million during the time she was Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister. The NSSA board recently sent 24 executives on forced leave to pave way for investigations after they were implicated in wrong-doing by the forensic audit report.

Source – The Herald

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